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Back to #JustSchools: Creating Safe and Supportive Schools for Black and Brown Girls

Back To Just Schools 2019 Webinar Banner
A Webinar Presentation: 
Tuesday, August 13th | 3:30pm EST

On January 15th, 2019, four Black and Latina 12-year-old girls were strip-searched in Binghamton, New York because they seemed “hyper and giddy.” In 2018, Faith Fennidy, an 11-year old Black girl, was sent home, in tears, from her Louisiana Catholic school because administrators said her braids did not comply with school policy. In 2015, 16-year-old Shakara was dragged out of her seat by a police officer because of an argument with a teacher.


These events are not outliers. They reflect the reality that Black girls are six times more likely to be suspended than their White peers; and that Black and Brown girls and TGNC youth are formally disciplined for things like talking back, getting up to throw away trash, not listening to the teacher, or not obeying dress code policies. And yet in spite of harsh and zero-tolerance discipline policies, explicit and implicit bias in the classroom, a lack of culturally relevant and affirming curriculum, inadequate trauma-informed practices and supports, and the hyper-policing of their bodies and expression, organizations like our partner Girls for Gender Equity demonstrate how Black and Brown girls and TGNC youth are advancing insightful and powerful visions for safe, holistic, welcoming, and affirming schools for all students.


As we prepare for a new school year, please join CJSF and our partners and friends for a conversation that will highlight resources and solutions to achieve the schools all students deserve--spaces of love, healing, justice, and joy. If you're an educator, funder, advocate or organizer, this conversation is for you.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop a deeper understanding of how and why Black and Brown girls are disproportionately punished and affected by institutional violence in schools and how this threatens their mental, physical, and emotional safety

  2. Learn about how YOU can center the intersections of Black and Brown girlhood in your work to combat the harmful ways that Black and Brown girls are impacted by hardening practices in schools

  3. Engage in critical dialogue with organizers, educators, funders, researchers, and students about how we can work collaboratively and collectively to ensure schools are safe and supportive environments for all students, namely Black and Brown girls 

  4. Leave with tangible tools and resources, including Girls for Gender Equity’s School Girls Deserve report and Start from the Ground Up, Grantmakers for Girls of Color research and toolkit 


  • Tynesha McHarris, Program Officer Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Right Initiative, NoVo Foundation
    - Grantmakers for Girls of Color - Start from the Ground Up 

  • Denisha Jones, Ph.D., J.D., Director of ECE Organizing for Defending the Early Years, Director of Art of Teaching at Sarah Lawrence College

  • Logan Meza, Youth Community Organizer, S.O.U.L Sisters Leadership Collective

  • Aishatu Yusuf, Senior Education Policy Fellow, National Black Women’s Justice Initiative 



  • Cierra Kaler-Jones, Education Anew Fellow, Communities for Just Schools Fund and Teaching for Change



  • Allison R. Brown, Executive Director, Communities for Just Schools Fund


Please register now and stay connected for updates on confirmed panelists.

Back to #JustSchools: How Educators Can Show Up for Youth of Color & Queer Youth in the New School Year

Archived Webinar Presentation:
August 22, 2018

As schools across the country dive into the 2018-19 academic year, the Communities for Just Schools Fund and the Southern Education Foundation hope to help channel #RedforEd and #MarchForOurLives energy towards active solidarity with Black, brown, and queer youth long on the frontlines demanding (and modeling) liberatory, relationship-centered, police- and ICE-free schools.


What: Back to #JustSchools: How Educators Can Show Up for Youth of Color & Queer Youth in the New School Year (Webinar and toolkit)

When: August 22 at 4:30 pm EST 

Where: Online Via Registration Only 


This webinar (and follow-up toolkit) will:


  1. introduce youth- and teacher-led organizations advancing restorative practices, social-emotional learning, and culturally competent curriculum and pedagogy to improve school climate;

  2. offer educators concrete tools to take into the classroom to advance racial justice and model the nurturing, affirmative world we all deserve to live in; and,

  3. invite educators and education justice allies to follow the developments of CJSF's Education Anew Institute for more resources and training opportunities to advance #justschools.

Featured presenters include:


What is the Education Anew Institute?


The Education Anew Institute is an online hub and engagement strategy aimed at connecting more classroom educators--and also district leaders, philanthropists, researchers, advocates, organizers, and policymakers--around the country to the practices, policy solutions, and implementation strategies that youth, parent, and teacher organizers know create safe, healthy, and equitable learning environments.

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